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Our Nutritionist Answers All Your Question About Coconuts

Our Nutritionist Answers All Your Question About Coconuts


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When, earlier this year, it came out that sales of coconut oil were dropping, we felt a little justified in touting that fact. Though the trendy oil has become a staple of diets like Paleo and Keto, we just haven't been sold on the claims that it's a superfood. And readers had strong reactions to the story—some of you were glad someone was finally saying it, while others thought we might have some kind of hidden agenda.

To be clear, we're not anti-coconut oil: We're cooks first, and believe there's a place for every fat in the kitchen, as long as they are used in moderation. We even include it in recipes when it's called for.

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So we asked readers to send in nutrition-related coconut questions—and then we dug into the research to find the answers. Here you go:

Since you're Cooking Light I assume you're anti-fat. So your opinion will be different, from, say a Paleo Nutritionist. Am I wrong?

We're not anti-fat, though we do believe in moderation! The truth is, there’s a place for all types of fat in a diet—but we do put an emphasis on healthy fats (nuts, nut butters, avocados, oily fish, liquid oils, etc.) and we encourage you to be at least mindful of your saturated fat intake.

We also aren't anti-Paleo, but we do try to look at the benefits and drawbacks of it, or of any diet trend—instead of just advocating for one over all others. The Cooking Light approach is to look at the research. We’re always going to talk about what science says works instead of honing in on, or giving advice around, one particular diet.

How much sugar do sweetened coconut flakes have over unsweetened? Is it better to use unsweetened and add a bit of extra sugar to the recipe?

The sugar in sweetened coconut flakes can vary brand-to-brand, but, per cup, it’s about 40 grams, or 10 teaspoons. (There are about 48 grams of total sugar in a cup of sweetened coconut flakes and 8 grams in a cup of unsweetened.)

Yes, you could substitute unsweetened coconut flakes in a recipe, but the swap might not be that easy, especially if you're baking. You see, sweetened coconut also adds moisture to a cake, cookie, or cupcake. Swapping in unsweetened coconut, as one of our expert bakers put it, “is the equivalent of adding nuts” to a recipe.

Are coconut flakes also high in saturated fat?

They are. Two tablespoons have 9g of saturated fat, which is nearly half of your recommended daily limit.

But they're tasty.

What is the difference between light coconut milk and full fat coconut milk?

Similar to dairy, the difference between light (or “lite”) coconut milk and full fat versions is: The fat.

Nutritionally, not much else differs! A cup of full fat coconut milk has around 335 calories and 33 grams of fat, 30 of which are saturated. A cup of light/lite coconut milk has significantly fewer calories (around 139, but it can vary brand-to-brand) and fat (in general about 14g total of which 12g are saturated).

What’s the difference between coconut milk in cans versus cartons—for cooking?

This is a really good question because they’re very, very different.

Despite the fact that both ingredient lists start with coconut milk and water as the first two ingredients, coconut milk in cans is thicker and more viscous. Coconut milk in cartons is much thinner, yet still opaque, and is typically referred to as a “coconut milk beverage” (check the label the next time you’re at the store and you’ll likely see “beverage” in small print).

For cooking, this means the cartons of coconut milk are essentially much more watered down, and the calories reflect that—a cup of coconut milk beverage ranges around 45 to 60 calories and only 4 or 5 grams of saturated fat.

That difference alone will make coconut milk beverages behave much differently in cooking, but also those carton beverages typically have stabilizers (various gums and/or carrageenan) to keep the contents emulsified—and those added ingredients may also play a role in how coconut milk beverages “perform” when cooking.

What are the vitamins and nutrients in coconut water?

Coconut water naturally contains certain electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium), as well as some carbohydrates and sugars. It doesn’t have any fat in it. The amount of sugar varies because some brands add sugar whereas others just package pure coconut water so be sure to check the ingredient list if you’re seeking one without added sugars.

When exactly should I be reaching for coconut water? Is there an advantage over regular water?

Although coconut water contains electrolytes, you don’t always need those nutrients, or the calories that come with it, to stay hydrated.

Water does a fantastic job at keeping you hydrated for—wait for it—zero calories. Now, if you’re really exerting yourself then coconut water (or another sports drink) would be the wiser choice to help you replete all that you’ve lost sweating it out. However, there aren’t any scientific studies that have found coconut water to be superior to sports drinks. In fact, the research mostly shows that sports drinks are (ever so slightly marginally) better at rehydration than coconut water.

My two cents? Pick whatever drink is most appealing to you because you’re more likely to drink more of it and, thus, stay hydrated, or rehydrate faster. If water is your go-to, then replete your electrolytes with food—a handful of salty pretzels for some sodium, an orange or a banana for potassium works just as well.

I’ve heard that the saturated fats (which raise your bad cholesterol, right?) are offset because coconut oil has stuff that also raises your good cholesterol. Is that true?

The short answer to your questions? Yes, yes, no.

Yes, saturated fats do raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the stuff that contributes to the buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries, which over time can narrow and stiffen your arteries, raising your risk for heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and other illnesses.

And yes, coconut oil has a few types of saturated fat—the majority of which is this type called lauric acid. Lauric acid boosts your HDL and only slightly raises your LDL cholesterol.

But unfortunately, no, the fact that coconut oil also raises your “good” HDL cholesterol doesn’t offset its high saturated fat content. The thing is that all evidence suggests that even though the other saturated fats in coconut oil are in the minority, they drive up LDL more than the lauric acid raises HDL. And the net/net, per the American Heart Association, is that because increased LDL cholesterol is a known cause of cardiovascular disease, it’s an oil that they advise against.

In other words, use it sparingly, and save it for when you really want a big flavor impact in a dish.


Keto Pancakes with Almond Flour and Coconut Flour

Honestly I wanted to make the very best keto pancake recipe that everyone will love and I think I have done it. These gluten free and sugar free pancakes taste so damn good. They hold together really well and are light and fluffy.

When I first started on the keto diet I failed a few attempts at great low carb pancakes or a keto crepe recipe. I finally thought it was time to get this recipe out as I know so many of have asked.

The best thing about pancakes is they are great for a dessert but hey they are a great low carb breakfast option as well. I often get asked for keto breakfast recipes that are not bacon and eggs.

While these pancakes do have eggs in them I promise they are not &ldquoeggy&rdquo.


6 Most Common Questions Nutritionist Kelly Leveque Gets Asked

Celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque answers the 6 most common nutrition questions she gets asked!

How often should I eat?

We’ve been told by many a diet book, blog and trainer that we should eat every three to four hours. But why? Well, on average your blood sugar rises when you eat and falls three hours later. But this advice doesn’t take into account what you ate or how much, the time of day, where your blood sugar started, or your insulin and cortisol levels. What about glucagon, the hormone that releases stored blood sugar? Why would we have such a hormone if we’re never going to use it? Digestion is work for our bodies it takes a lot of time and energy to break down food into molecules that we can then absorb and utilize. When we eat too frequently, we are taxing our body, filling it with excess insulin and asking it to re-start a process it has not yet even completed. Not only does this weigh us down in terms of energy depletion but also in pounds – when our body cannot absorb and utilize food, it stores it as, you guessed it, fat.

But when you begin your day with a Be Well Fab Four or Be Well Smoothie, you give yourself the opportunity to start and stay in a balanced blood sugar state. Then, when you follow this breakfast with two other nutrient-rich meals, you can elongate your blood sugar curve in a normal range. What happens? You don’t get cravings, and you lose weight! You’re also re-teaching your body how to feel full and satisfied, so that between your meals you’re actually burning fat and losing weight instead of impatiently waiting for your next snack. If you do need to snack make it protein, fat and fiber packed like veggies and hummus or coconut milk ranch, a nut pack or a hard boiled egg.

The FAB FOUR:

The Fab Four is what my clients eat at every meal: protein, fat, fiber and greens! It’s a light structure to help my clients feel satisfied, elongate their blood sugar curve and eat foods that are the most nourishing to support hormone production, microbiome proliferation and healthy body composition. In combination the Fab Four works to turn off 8 hunger hormones in the body, it ensures you are getting the essential fatty and amino acids you need for cell regeneration and helps you build a complete meal that will keep you satisfied for 4-6 hours.

Are you 100% carb free?

Absolutely not! I just limit myself and clients to one serving size of carbs per meal max unless it's an indulgent or celebratory meal. But I first make sure I have the Fab Four on my plate, maybe it's chicken, roasted veggies and a side salad. If you opt for garlic bread for example keep it to a single serving and ditch the alcohol and other starchy carb sides like rice or quinoa.

How many times a week do you work out?

I love to sweat! I workout 3-6 days a week depending on my schedule and I normally do classes at OTF (Bruce), Soulcycle (Lindsey), Maha Yoga (Ryan, Tom or Steve) or a private training session with my friend Mike Alexander of Madfit. I just do what fits in my schedule or what’s going to make me happy. It’s all about consistency and getting at least 1-2 day of strength or weights in! If I need to I will get in a quick Kayla workout too.

Do you count calories?

I think it’s antiquated calorie counting is a big waste of time. Calories overlook the fact that each macronutrient is metabolized and used differently in in the body. Not to mention, each macronutrient will create a different hormonal and chemical cascade in the body depending on which macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) you eat. Calories counters eat less healthy fat on average and more low calorie packaged goods. My clients maintain their wellness by eating whole foods, fiber rich leafy greens, healthy fats and wild proteins.

Cardio or Strength?

Abs and flat tummy take two things, consistent blood sugar balance and strength training. Your muscles are your metabolism, so the more you lift the more they burnt the fat on your body. Cardio is a great way to lean out but if you want a flat tummy all year long you need to do strength training too!


Ask a Nutritionist: Should I Make Sure My Child Eats Protein at Every Meal?

In the second part of this series, registered dietician and nutritionist Katherine Zavodni answers questions from our Facebook group, Small Plates: For Parents Who Cook. Check out Part Two right here.

I talk a lot with other parents about what we feed our kids. When my children were babies, my friends and I gabbed obsessively about introducing new foods, our fears about possible allergies, and finger food recipes. As the kids became toddlers, we started commiserating about how they had suddenly gotten so picky, and we swapped tips on getting them to sit still at the table long enough to actually consume anything. And as our kids have grown older, a lot of our concerns have shifted to either logistics—how to get meals on the table despite busy work, school, and extracurricular activities—or recipe ideas that accommodate each of our children's particular likes and dislikes.

At each of these stages, there are always certain questions that come up over and over, like: Is it okay to have a one-bite rule with new foods? Should I withhold dessert if my child doesn't eat enough dinner? And what do I do if lunch comes home barely touched day after day?

What if all your kid eats from this lunch are the Goldfish?

I certainly have a lot of my own opinions about some of these matters (particularly about dessert, as I've mentioned before), but I also struggle with many questions about the right way to feed my kids. So I reached out to registered dietician Katherine Zavodni, a nutritionist who specializes in child and family feeding concerns, including non-diet intuitive eating nutrition therapy and eating disorder treatments.

Zavodni, who has had a private practice for over 10 years, works with kids and families every day not only on nutrition issues but also on the emotional and social factors that so frequently overlap with food. Read: she's the kind of nutritionist who isn't just focused on grams of fiber and phytonutrients—she delves into family attitudes about food, too.

I had asked the members of our Epicurious Facebook group, Small Plates: For Parents Who Cook, to share some of their concerns about feeding their kids, and I discussed the first of those questions with Zavodni, who had many smart, fascinating insights to share in response.

The first question comes from a parent who asked, "How much should I worry about protein for my kid who loves fruit, veggies, and carbs, but hates dairy and is very picky about meat? Should I be enforcing some protein at every meal, or a once-a-day rule?"

People worry a lot about having an actual dedicated protein source in each meal, like meat or cheese or nuts. But protein deficiency in a child is relatively rare. And they are getting some protein from other foods—there's protein in many foods you typically think of as a carbohydrate. Maybe they don’t drink milk, but they consume other iterations of dairy, like ice cream or cheese—you could certainly offer those on a regular basis.

But I wouldn’t worry too much about intake at every single meal—it’s totally fine for kids to have some eating occasions when they're not getting a dedicated protein source. Generally speaking, as long as your doctors are not concerned about poor growth, then protein deficiency is not likely an issue.

Whenever parents want their child to eat more of a particular food, I always encourage them to continue to present those foods and allow your child to see you enjoying them, without pressure.

So if a lack of protein were a problem, it would probably manifest itself in growth issues?

Yes. You would be looking at growth issues. The other day-to-day thing you might see is that they're not staying full for very long. It's harder to stay full on a purely carbohydrate meal or snack. But if you've got some fat source in there, that will help.

Whenever parents want their child to eat more of a particular food, I always encourage them to just continue to present those foods and allow your child to see you enjoying them, without pressuring them. That’s the best way to encourage their intake.

When you say that kids don’t need a dedicated protein source at every meal or snack, what about every day? Would you say they need that once a day?

There are certainly going to be some kids who just really don't prefer those foods. It's not uncommon for a kid's diet to come from mostly carbohydrate foods. Generally they outgrow that. If we stay committed to a pressure-free, consistent presentation of a variety of foods, eventually they'll come to the point where they are interested in some of those things, whether it’s nuts or peanut butter or different dairy foods or meats.

And in the meantime we can be cognizant of not getting too caught up in diet culture–type messages. If it never occurred to us to offer hot dogs or hamburgers, we could do that. Or even pizza. Maybe your child doesn't drink milk but will eat pizza—you're getting some protein there. I recommend just keeping an open mind about different foods we can offer without pressure until they naturally develop a little bit more of a varied palate, which can happen over time—not always on our timeline, but at their own pace.

It might not seem like it, but pizza provides some protein.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Kate Buckens

I’m so interested in the evolution of kids’ palates. Some kids just have a really varied, adventurous palate early on and they stay with it, and with other kids it seems like it really progresses and changes. I think people would be reassured to hear that that's somewhat normal.


Ask Our Keto Nutritionist

Wondering if the keto diet is safe, effective, or right for you? We're here to help! Tara Finnerty (RDN, CSP, CD) is Hip2Keto's ketogenic specialist and registered dietitian. From intermittent fasting to keto diet menus, Tara answers many common keto questions & concerns, and also shares plenty of tips, tricks, and benefits. Check Hip2Keto to see the keto diet explained by our keto nutritionist and for her latest articles - you'll find them all right here! Want a little help from a keto nutritionist? Our nutritionist has keto tips and ideas so you get more from your keto lifestyle. We’re also answering many common keto diet FAQs so you can be successful in your keto lifestyle! It’s so hard to find a nutritionist who understands the keto lifestyle, let alone supports this way of eating. That’s why we’ve partnered with a tried and true keto nutritionist who’s dedicated to helping people live their best lives through the ketogenic diet. What’s more, to best support our ketogenic community, each week, we’ll answer your questions. Baffled about bad breath? Vitamins? Macros? Please let us know in the comments what you’d like to know, and we’ll do our best to give you some support and guidance in the coming weeks. Please note that we’re not doctors, so if you have any questions, please consult with your trusted medical partner.

Check out these helpful articles by our keto nutritionist:


Parker: The name of the drug for cats is Elura, which is not the same as Entyce in dogs, but both have capromelin oral solution as the active ingredient (both are also manufactured by Elanco Animal Health). I know that’s a little confusing, but Elura is FDA approved. I have used it and I think it has the potential to be an effective appetite stimulant in cats. There are some adverse effects that have been reported by the company that cat owners should be aware of (most commonly vomiting, hypersalivation, inappetence, behavior change, and lethargy).

Parker: I can’t stress enough the importance of ensuring that our patients are getting complete and balanced diets because I have seen way too many complications in pets that are not getting completed and balanced [home-made] diets. One of the best places you can send people who don’t want to do the consult but do want to do the cooking is BalanceIt. Owners can use this reputable website—it’s owned and operated by a board-certified nutritionist—to get the information they need to feed their pets a complete and balanced diet. They can even request free recipes. Beyond that, it is important that they speak to a nutritionist if they are going to be doing home cooking.


Which Is Better, Coffee or Green Tea?

Slow Caffeine Metabolizers

With one or two slow caffeine genes, it’s likely that you will experience more negative effects from caffeine, like feeling jittery and anxious, as well as interrupted sleep, digestive issues and cortisol spikes. There are other pretty significant issues associated with being a slow metabolizer and drinking too much caffeine, such as increased risk of hypertension and heart attack.

Fast Caffeine Metabolizers

Life isn’t fair. And one example that confirms this is the fact that fast metabolizers not only don’t have to worry about any of the increased health risks above, but they actually experience a plethora of benefits from consuming caffeine! These blessed ones drink coffee and experience a speedier metabolism, enhanced exercise performance, better mental clarity, improved mood and increased longevity.

How do you find out about your own caffeine genes?

Well, you can do genetic tests like 23andMe which can tell you if you possess a gene variant that codes for the enzyme CYP1A2.

If you don’t want to get the fancy testing, you can probably use your intuition to decide whether caffeine is right for you or not. If you know (or infer based on your symptoms) that you are a slow metabolizer, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any caffeine at all just limit your amount and perhaps opt for tea instead of coffee. If drinking any caffeine makes you jittery, just cut back on quantity or drink decaf.

In my case, I know I am a slow caffeine metabolizer. If I drink coffee, I get all those uncomfortable side effects (jittery, anxious, frantic, sweaty, etc.), however I’m cool as a cucumber drinking green tea. This is likely for two reasons. One is the fact that green tea contains roughly half the amount of caffeine as coffee–in 8 ounces, there is roughly 50 mg in green tea versus 100 mg in coffee, depending on how it is prepared. The second reason is that green tea contains L-theanine which is an amino acid that ramps up the activity of our calming neurotransmitter, GABA, which helps to decrease anxiety.

So Let’s Talk About Coffee Versus Green Tea

Green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. It contains high amounts of EGCG which is a catechin that slows down aging, decreases cancer growth, reduces heart disease risk, decreases inflammation and boosts metabolism.

There are several varieties of green tea, such as the uber-popular matcha, sencha, gyokuro and bancha. All are good and each has a slightly different taste, price tag, amount of caffeine and concentration of EGCG.

In green tea, the caffeine and L-theanine work together to produce sustained energy and improved brain function. Many people love the fact that green tea gives them enough caffeine for a mental and physical boost without the crash a couple hours later.

Coffee, too, is a great source of inflammation-taming antioxidants. There is data to show that drinking coffee can help boost exercise performance, burn fat, increase insulin sensitivity, decrease risk of neurodegeneration and increase longevity.

Caffeine levels vary between different types of coffee based on the beans used, how much used, length of brew cycle and how much the end product was diluted with water or cream. As a general rule, cold brew tends to have slightly less caffeine than drip coffee. Blonde roasts tend to be higher in caffeine than dark roasts.

Conventionally grown coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides, chemicals and combined with solvents. Since coffee is one of the most contaminated crops worldwide, if you’re an avid coffee drinker, I highly recommend buying and drinking organic coffee whenever possible. If you choose to drink decaf coffee, select water-processed decaf, such as Swiss Water, which doesn’t use toxic chemicals to remove the caffeine.

Now that you’ve got the low-down, back to our original question: which should you drink: green tea or coffee? Either, both or neither! Figure out what’s right for you.

As a nutritionist, I see some people who tolerate coffee and some who don’t. I also see some who thrive on matcha, and others who feel it’s too stimulating. Both green tea and coffee contain health-promoting antioxidants, amino acids and minerals so one isn’t “better” than the other. It comes down to personal preference, as well as experimenting with how you personally respond to each. If you feel great drinking a coffee or green tea each day, go for it! If you can tell caffeine isn’t serving you, how about opting for one of the many delicious herbal teas out there? Here is a guide to medicinal teas to help get you started on your caffeine-free tea journey!

About Stephanie Rome

Stephanie Rome is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach. Learn more about her on her website Keenist.


Should you avoid coconut oil, milk or flour if you have Herpes or Shingles?

Coconuts are drupes, and the coconut is the largest seed in the world. Like all nuts and seeds, coconut has protein, fat and carbohydrates. Coconut oil only contains fat.

The problem with Herpes and Shingles is the protein Arginine, found in abundance in nuts, gelatin and chocolate. As many of us sufferers know, Lysine (on an empty stomach) helps prevent or manage with these viral outbreaks, but Arginine and Lysine counteract each other. Too much Arginine, and you may have an outbreak.

If you have a tendency to Herpes outbreaks, be aware that any coconut product (except the pure fat) may bring them on.

Lauric Acid in coconut oil is helpful as an anti-viral, so as long as it’s tolerated, it will help fight the viruses.

Coconut milk, coconut manna concentrate and coconut flour will all aggravate Herpes and Shingles. If you eat these high-protein foods and have herpes that are easily triggered, take a Lysine later on an empty stomach to help counter the Arginine. (Same advice I give to those eating almonds or almond flour).


Wholesome Yum Organic Coconut Flour

Meet the best coconut flour, with just one simple ingredient: pure, premium organic coconuts. Our super fine c oconut flour works great in guilt-free, gluten-free and keto baking, with only 2 grams net carbs per serving.

Use Wholesome Yum Coconut Flour in your favorite recipes including pancakes, muffins, cookies, bread, crackers, and more – all low carb for your healthy lifestyle! Since it’s extremely absorbent, it requires additional moisture, such as eggs or oil.

Package Size: 1 lb (454 g)


Pressed Juicery Now Makes The Coconut Milk Of Our Dreams

pressed Juicery almond milk is honestly our favorite store-bought nut milk out there, so, with the launch of the brand’s new coconut milk, you can bet we were first in line to get a guzzle.

Coconut milk’s texture is ideal for coffee, the fats are incredible for vital brain health (more on that below), and we’re basically bathing in the stuff from here on out. Here’s everything you need to know about how to use the creamy dream of a vegan milk alternative and all about coconut milk benefits…

Coconut milk comes from the white flesh of mature brown coconuts. Coconut water, on the other hand, comes from immature green coconuts — and the two are not the same! Unlike coconut water, coconut milk does not occur naturally in liquid form. The creamy and delicious drink we know as coconut milk combines the solid flesh on the inside of the coconut with coconut water.

As coconut milk contains the actual fruit of the coconut, it also contains natural healthy fats that are great for your brain, your skin and your metabolism. According to the pros, the highest-quality coconut milk is one that’s been cold-pressed, which means it’s only been lightly processed to remove certain bacteria but hasn’t been exposed to high levels of heat that could diminish the natural vitamin and mineral content.

Healthy Fats For Energy. About half the fat in coconuts comes from a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid. Coconuts also contain small amounts of other medium-chain fatty acids, including capric acid and caprylic acid. According to functional medicine pro, Dr. Josh Axe, “lauric acid, [is] easily absorbed and used by the body for energy”.

Hydration Helper. Coconut water provides a higher concentration of electrolytes than coconut milk, but coconut milk contains coconut water, and it also provides important minerals that are essential for maintaining blood volume and preventing dehydration.

Brain Fuel. Coconut milk contains MCT (medium-chain triglycerides — learn all about it) which is a kind of fat that is processed by the brain as energy, “without even needing to be processed through your digestive tract with bile acids like some other fats,” says Dr. Axe. MCT has an unusual chemical structure that allows the body to digest the fats easily, turning them into fuel rather than stored fat. “the calories in coconut milk provide a quick and efficient source of healthy calories for the brain, which is actually primarily made up of fat and relies on a steady stream of it to function,” says Axe.

Lowers Inflammation. Coconut milk contains MCT which can help reduce inflammation in the body. MCT oil is also full of antioxidants which gives it the ability to help reduce disease-causing inflammation through the body.

Metabolism Helper. There’s some evidence that MCT may also benefit weight loss, body composition, and metabolism. MCTs process quickly in the body and can stimulate fat burning, metabolism and energy production. Some studies have found that eating MCTs on a regular basis produces improvements in body composition (ratio of fat to lean tissue) and enhances athletic performance. A study also suggests that MCTs improve insulin sensitivity, aid weight loss in those with diabetes and might theoretically be helpful for those who have trouble digesting fatty foods.

Heart Health. Coconut milk can benefit cardiovascular health. According to Dr. Axe, “coconuts’ fatty acids are primarily saturated fat, but don’t think these will raise your cholesterol levels and cause heart damage. Rather, they’re known to actually do the opposite. Coconut milk can help you lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks or a stroke.”

Good for The Gut. Coconut milk’s high concentration of electrolytes and healthy fats help nourish the lining of the digestive tract. As we all know, a healthy gut is essential for holistic health.

Vitamins + Minerals. Coconut flesh is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, and a whole bunch of Bs (B1, B3, B5 and B6) and essential minerals including iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.

Boosts Immunity. Lauric acid, a healthy fat found in coconut milk, converts into a compound called monolaurin when consumed. This compound is known for its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. With consistent consumption over time, loading up on coconut derived foods and beverages can help fortify the immune system and protect the body from infections and viruses.

Feathers have been ruffling since the American Heart Association released a controversial study last year about coconut oil. The surprising news that this beloved fat might not be as healthy as we previously thought had devotees panicked, confused and just plain bothered.

The study focused on saturated fats, but did not distinguish between saturated animal fats and saturated fats from plants. Research also shows that not all saturated fats are the same. The medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut milk metabolize quickly into energy in the liver. It is thought that, unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are less likely to be stored as fat. While research is still mixed, new studies suggest that the fats in coconuts and coconut products may not negatively affect blood lipids and heart health as was once thought.

The bottom line, of course, is that moderation is key, as with everything else.

Coconut milk can be used in the same way as any other dairy or non-dairy milk. The creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor lends itself well to all kinds of delicious applications. Below, we’re sharing a few easy and accessible ideas plus a few recipes you’re going to love…

Drink It Daily. We love to use coconut milk in our coffee, tea, matcha and smoothies.

Overnight Oats. The rich feel and light flavor of coconut milk is ideal for making overnight oats. We love using Pressed Juicery’s coconut milk in recipes like this these three from Purely Elizabeth — simply replace the almond milk with coconut milk and enjoy!

Swirl It Into Soup. Coconut milk is thicker and more cohesive than other kinds of non-dairy milk. This makes it perfect for adding a little to recipes for a luscious final touch. We love this creamy cauliflower soup recipe from holisic nutritionist, Holli Thompson.

Make A Dressing . Coconut milk is an ideal base for making a rich but dairy-free salad dressing. We love it on top of a bright citrus and avocado salad like this recipe here.

Quiche It. Integrative nutritionist Jennie Miremadi shared this recipe with us for a crustless clean quiche using coconut milk. Because of the coconut milk, the texture is so spot-on you won’t even miss the crust.

Calling All Curry. Traditional cuisines around the world use coconut milk for cooking. There are many different curry recipes that incorporate it for its creamy texture and cooling flavor. Try it for yourself in this simple halibut coconut curry recipe.

Granola Goddess. Pour a little coconut milk over your favorite grain-free granola for a balanced and gut-friendly breakfast on the fly. This homemade recipe is one of our favorites.

Bake With It. A little bit of coconut milk in baked goods adds extra fat, a delicate flavor, and eliminates the need for dairy. Sweet Laurel’s grain, dairy and refined sugar-free fresh fruit clafoutis is a one-pan knockout dessert, featuring coconut milk as one of the ingredients. Get the recipe here.

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Comments:

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  5. Marian

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  6. Vallois

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